Seeing the invisible: Biomolecular visualization

Hi everyone! Marco here, again.

What I will to talk about today is less practical than what others showed in their science course. As I said in the online science exhibition, the topic of this post is biomolecular visualization. If you are not interested in reading, just go there for some more nice pictures!

This will not be an exhaustive lecture on the field, but I will try my best to give a short introduction.

Lipids for vesicular nanobots

Hello there, this is Michael! In my previous blog posts, I have given you sneak peeks into my day-to-day activities here at the Dietz lab in Munich. To contribute to our online lecture series, I would like to give you a deeper and more detailed view into the science and logics behind my work. What are lipid vesicles? What are lipids? What’s that got to do with DNA? And why does it matter?

How about making your own DNA origami?

Origami is the art of paper folding that has been practiced in Japan since Edo period (1603-1868), and then successfully introduced in the western culture. The goal of this art is to transform a dull piece of paper into sophisticated 3D sculptures by the sequence of folding and sculpting. Likewise Japanese origami, DNA origami is also a way of 3D-structures folding – folding in the nanoscale. In this technique instead of sheet of paper one uses hundreds of short DNA strands to fold a long circular DNA molecule (scaffold) into 3D DNA-based structures. In this post, I will try to convince you that DNA origami technique is nothing to be scared about. Frankly speaking, once you gain some basic knowledge and skills, it might be even easier to fold your fancy sculpture with DNA than using paper (at least if you have enough money and lab-facility to work with 🙂 ).

Designing Nanostructures with RNA

Hello there! It’s Néstor Sampedro writing again from Aarhus, Denmark. I am part of the Andersen lab in which we are designing novel RNA molecules for biotechnological applications. Nanostructures made out of this molecule have the advantage of being produced inside cells by standard biological means. Designing RNAs is challenging but fun, on a previous blog post a cool RNA structure was shown, but how does the design of such structures work, what are the principles behind it? Keep on reading to get a sneak peek into how we use our laptops and pipettes to design RNA origami nanostructures!